The time has arrived to admit that I’m getting older and to compare myself with my past version of ten years ago. This blog post is about the differences between going at the disco at 28 years old (I’m 28, if you didn’t know that already) and going to the disco at 18 years old. I don’t need to add anything. I mean, disco. It can’t get more juicy than that. Enjoy!
#1 DECIDING WHAT TO WEAR. The “getting ready for the disco” ritual starts hours before the disco. This decision involves at least your mum, your sister and the girl friend(s) you’re going to dance with.
At 18. You text with your friends (yes, that’s for sure plural because you always go dancing with plenty of girl friends at 18). You ask them whether they’re gonna wear a pair of jeans or a mini-skirt. Just to make sure you’re not, respectively, the one who is too undressed or the one who is too dressed. Then you go to your room with mum and sister, take all the possible options out of your closet (there’s a lot of them!), mix and match to find the best possible combination.
At 28. You only have two options: the black dress you wore at Saint Sylvester Eve two years ago or the black dress you wore at Saint Sylvester Eve three years ago. Mum and sister roll their eyes up wondering what happened to you and your good taste. They blame those “bad companies” of computer scientists and nerds I hung out with in Germany. Mum takes out the black dress she wore at Saint Sylvester Eve one year ago and say that this is what I should wear tonight. Period. You text your friend (yes, singular, because somehow at 28 it’s hard to find gals still interested in dancing at the disco). You tell her that, no matter if she’s going to wear black trousers, you’re gonna wear a black dress because your mum told you so.
#2 SHOWER + GETTING DRESSED + MAKEUP. Now you need to get ready to go to the disco.
At 18. You’re so excited that you start getting ready two hours earlier. It also takes so long for you to blow dry your hair. You haven’t quite figured out how to make your hair straight despite your efforts with the hair dryer and the brush. Wearing contact lenses is still a struggle because sometimes they break inside the eye and you have to call your sister for aid. Makeup takes a while as well because you don’t normally wear it to go to school. You deliberately decided to do that because: “if I wear makeup every day now that I’m 18, what am I gonna do at 28?” The best part is to finalise your outfit with a peachy pink Dior gloss. Ready!
At 28. You lay on the sofa in front of the TV until half an hour before you need to get out of the house. Super straight hair isn’t that cool anymore and being socially allowed to leave some natural curls makes the process super fast. Contact lenses? The only problem is to remember to buy them. Makeup? You must be kidding me: I waer makeup EVERY day. The best part is to finalise your outfit with a matt red Dior lipstick. Ready!
#3 PARKING. Well, parking is the last step of the “heading to the disco procedure”. And it’s a painful one.
At 18. You’re not into alcohol and you’d like to practice driving since you just got your driving licence. So you’re the one driving, picking up your friends and not drinking tonight. You drive fine but the hard part is parking. You head at the end of the parking lot, far away from people that can potentially see all the tries you’re gonna need to get the car parked. You and your girl friends now have to walk all the way on high heel shoes.
At 28. You’re not into alcohol THAT much and you’d like to practice driving since you live abroad whit no car and are a little rusty. So you’re the one driving, picking up your friend and not drinking tonight. You drive fine but the hard part is STILL parking. You head at the end of the parking lot, far away from people that can potentially see all the tries you’re gonna need to get the car parked. You now have to walk all the way on high heel shoes, while your friend comfortably walks in her ballerinas.
#4 “NICE PEOPLE” AT THE DISCO. The meaning of “there were nice people at the disco” varies depending on the age.
At 18. Nice people at the disco means that there were guys between 17 and 24 years old. A bad evening at the disco would mean that you ended up at a place for old folks, those who are 30 years old.
At 28. You pray that this is not going to be the night where the disco is full of people in their teens. Please please please, at least people from the university please! You enter the disco and realise that there are men of your age and spotting 40-year-old folks doesn’t feel weird at all.
#5 GOING TO THE BATHROOM. As soon as you get in the disco, you need to pee. Of course!
At 18. You go to the bathroom with all your friends, both for support with the bag because because they all need to pee. Afterwards, you can really start enjoying the evening.
At 28. You go to the bathroom with your girl friend both for support with the bag because because she also needs to pee. Afterwards, you can really start enjoying the evening.
#6 DANCING. You’re at the disco to dance after all, right?
At 18. You dance together with your girl friends staying close to each other in a group. You even hold hands when you want to move to a different sport of the dance floor not lose each other. You dance on the beat, but often mirror your friends and adjust your movements to theirs, so that you can still fit into the group.
At 28. Your friend is chatting or dancing with some guys so you can only dance alone… and you love it! You close your eyes to really feel the music and don’t give a damn about how you’re moving… Non because you have grown up and stopped giving a damn of other people’s opinion… but because you know that, after two years of latin dance courses at the gym every Friday night, your movements are the most graceful of the dance floor!
#7 DRINKS. It happens that at a certain point you’re thirsty and need to get something to drink. But what does the gal who drives drink at the disco?
At 18. Coke. Diet Coke, if you have it. Gosh, I really don’t like Coke. I really don’t like sparkling soft drinks. Ugh, it tastes horrible. But what was I supposed to do, drink water at the disco?
At 28. Water. Still water, please. And can you maybe put a slice of cucumber in the glass? So people will think I’m drinking gin tonic and that I’m not a loser…
#8 ENGAGING WITH GUYS. That’s the part you were all waiting for, right? I left it on purpose as the second last, hoping that you’d read the post up to here ;)
At 18. Well, how can I say it diplomatically… You DON’T engage with guys! You’re all sticking next to each other in a group, forming this inaccessible barrier that looks like an eight-head monster to any male. Sometimes, while you’re dancing, a guy passes by and touches your butt, leaving you half offended and half puzzled.
At 28. Guys became men (hopefully) and come over and talk to you. The fact that you’re dancing alone probably helps as well… It goes something like this: “Hi, I wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful”. Oh, thank you! “Are you here alone?” No, I’m with my girl friend. She is over there talking to that guy. “Do you have a boyfriend?” Yes, I do. (A couple of seconds of silence where you really see the guy’s brain processing something to respond.) “And are you happy with him?” Very much! “So why are you here alone tonight?” I told you I’m not alone, I’m with my girl friend. She is over there talking to that guy. “Can we still dance together?” Sure! Then you dance together. You prefer dancing alone because this is how the latin dance course trained you, but you still dance with him quite smoothly. Then he subtly places his hand a little bit lower than your waist… And you figure to let him do it. I mean, you workout really hard at the gym (and even at home early in the morning) to get a firm butt. Of course now you want some sort of reward and who knows for how long your butt is going to stay like that! So when the guy says: “You really have a nice butt”, you smile to him and reply: “I know!” ;)
Do you have other differences or similarities in mind between 18 and 28? Or between 18 and you’re age? They don’t have to be related to going to the disco of course, but to any other aspects of your life that you want to share. Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this blog post, then please subscribe to the Breaking Thirty Newsletter. I’ll notify you whenever a new blog post is released and I’ll share more thoughts or juicy stuff that I don’t publish anywhere else.